Last updateFri, 19 Jun 2020 7pm


Baseball Drops Conference Series to Siena

Baseball Drop Conference to SienaAfter defeating Princeton in a non-conference game on Wednesday, April 5, the baseball team resumed Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) play against Siena over the weekend in Loudonville, NY and split a Saturday doubleheader before dropping the series finale on Sunday.

Monmouth’s lone win of the weekend came in the second game, when sophomore left-hander Kyle Ajjan fired a complete game, two-hit shutout, leading the Hawks to an 11-0 victory. He walked three batters and struck out seven on 96 pitches, 62 strikes. He was named MAAC Pitcher of the Week on Tuesday.

“Kyle was real good today. He really competed well. Offensively we were able to score early, which I thought was very important,” Head Coach Dean Ehehalt said. “Our two out RBI (runs batted in) were huge and getting [senior outfielder Dan] Shea back allowed us to shape the lineup as well. I was real happy for [senior right fielder Chris] Gaetano and his five RBI. He provided us with a big lift.”

The blue and white scored in five of seven innings beginning in the second, when two runs crossed the plate on an error. With two out in the third, senior outfielder Tom Jakubowski and sophomore catcher Clay Koniencki walked, which set up a two-run double down the right field line by Gaetano to make it 4-0 MU.

Monmouth doubled their lead in the fourth. Senior infielders Grant Lamberton and Shaine Hughes singled and advanced to second and third on a balk. Shea returned from injury in a big way as he cashed in with two runners in scoring position with a single to left-center, plating both runners. Junior designated hitter Pete Papcun walked, advancing Shea to second and both runners moved into scoring position on Jakubowski’s single. Gaetano came up big again and drove a single to right, allowing two more runs to score and extending the Monmouth lead to 8-0. He recorded the third five RBI game for a Hawk this year, the other two belonging to Papcun.

MU scored another run on an error in the sixth and plated two in the seventh. Pinch hitting for Papcun, senior infielder/outfielder Brad Rhoads singled to center with two men on base and Gaetano drove in his fifth of the game with a sacrifice fly, giving the Hawks the 11-0 lead.

The Hawks found themselves down early in the series opener as Siena’s Joe Drpich belted a three-run home run in the first inning. Freshman outfielder JP Walsh got a run back in the second with an infield single and Papcun cut the deficit to one with a double in the fifth.

Siena added a run in the bottom of the fifth on a groundout, but Hughes drove in two to tie the game with a single to left. The Saints scored the eventual winning run in the sixth on a Jordan Bishop double to right-center.

In the series finale on Sunday, April 9 Monmouth was trailing 6-1 in the top of the ninth and scratched across four runs to make it a one run game, but junior infielder Aidan Favia grounded into a double play with the bases loaded that ended the game.

Monmouth defeated Princeton 8-4 in a non-conference game on April 5 at MU Baseball Field. The Hawks opened the scoring with two in the bottom of the first with an infield single by freshman outfielder John LaRocca and a single by Koniencki, who finished the day 2-2 with three RBI and two walks. He also walked with the bases loaded in the third to make it 3-0.

“I got into good counts in all of my at bats,” Koniencki said. “I saw a lot of fastballs up and I was able to put some good swings on them.”

The sixth was the big inning as the Hawks saw five runs cross the plate in the frame. They scored on a bases loaded walk and two wild pitches in addition to an RBI single from Hughes and a run-scoring double by Koniencki.

“We spoke about having a different kind of attack to win games and the weapons that were working were having good at bats, keeping the line moving and we took advantage of some wild pitches. Our strike zone discipline, pitches that we didn’t swing at, got us those runs,” Ehehalt said.

Monmouth is now 9-18 overall and 5-4 in conference play. They begin a seven-game home stand on Friday, April 14 when Marist comes to West Long Branch for the first of three before a doubleheader on Saturday. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.

PHOTO COURTESY of Willis Glasgow

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The Outlook
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The Outlook
Monmouth University
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Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151